Reviewer:Ricardo dude -
June 20, 2009 Subject:
decent penny-arcade set
Interesting penny arcade serial here. (The brevity of the "films" is probably due to the number of pictures that one can fit into a coin operated machine at a time, and so what we have here is a bunch of short "films" - sets of still pictures - that were likely used in those arcade machines.) Yeah, historically significant and all that, too.
July 27, 2007 Subject:
This film is important in that it captures the work of Joseph Jefferson III, a significant comic in the American stage of the 19th century. Rip Van Winkle is the role most associated with him; he debuted it in 1859 in Washington and played it for 40 years.
He was also a teacher to actor James O'Neill, the father of playwright Eugene O'Neill.
March 4, 2006 Subject:
Interesting Historical View
It is interesting to watch this restored, stylized motion picture made over 100 years ago. Compared to films made a decade later, the viewer can see the tremendous technilogical progress that was achieved.
July 30, 2005 Subject:
just a dream
Wolf Says" "However, what is particularly fascinating is contrasting this film with films that would come even just 5-10 years later,"
True, That's when the technological apparatus evolved, but consider as well the fifteen years from 1915-1930 where in terms of story telling the jump went from shorts to the feature form we still use today.
In mythological terms the Rip Van Winkle story is found in many cultures and dates at least to the stone age- man falls asleep-goes underhill-meets fairies- awakens to find old world gone. but the Van Winkle version is considered today somewhat outre considering how widely known it once was.
What I find interesting is the evolution of elves/lephrechans from
cutey pies of mid 20th cent. to the chthonic critters you see in the fantasy genre, RPG, books, comics etc. of today
Just guessing but I suppose in Washington Irving's day they took the tale as a cautionary, "don't be lazy" type story.
A series of short (about 20-30 sec) scenes that depict the Irving classic "Rip Van Winkle". The first two parts appear to be shot in Edison's studio in New York, which opened up to allow in natural sunlight. The remaining reels, where Van Winkle leaves with the dwarves and drinks to oblivion, appear to be shot outside.
One of the biggest problems with films of this era is a combination of the short running time of the reel, which does not allow any sort of narrative flow to be created. Also, the notion of title cards had not come about yet, so any acting is pure pantomime and overwrought in the late 19th century manner. However, what is particularly fascinating is contrasting this film with films that would come even just 5-10 years later, and the rapid leaps and bounds in staging, camera work , and narrative structure that would occur in that time.